Begging your pardon, but is a humble country bumpkin allowed to
invade the hallowed pages of Campaign? I ask because two recent campaigns
suggest that my custom and my money are not wanted in the big city.
First came Selfridges, claiming that ’it’s worth living in London’ using
photographs taking a jibe at country life. At a single stroke, the store
pissed off a good proportion of its clientele. Or perhaps it thinks us
country-dwellers only buy candles, smocks and spare parts for
muck-spreaders. I have news for the powers that be at Selfridges and its
oh-so-stylish agency - people outside the M25 have money to spend. We
don’t barter a rabbit and a pheasant for one sack of potatoes. We use
real money to buy extravagant luxuries from famous London stores like
Selfridges. Or rather, we did. Because I for one know when I’m not
Anyway, just as us punters from the sticks were getting over the insult
from Selfridges, its agency struck again. ’If you can’t stand the heat,
get out to Hitchin’ runs its latest assumption that after a hard day
running errands for Londoners, we ignorant country yokels take to our
horses and carts and rush home before milking time. Actually, many of us
stay on in the metropolis.
Believe it or not, electric trains connect London and the surrounding
towns until after midnight. We visit London’s cinemas, theatres, clubs
and restaurants. All the establishments, in fact, that advertise in Time
Out. Although in future I intend to change my ways. I’ll stick to the
cinema in Aylesbury (it has colour pictures and talking sound, you know)
and for real excitement I’ll go and play dominoes in the Old Swan or
cribbage in ye olde village hall. All of which means, of course, that I
won’t need to buy Time Out.
Congratulations to you style gurus. It’s quite an achievement to produce
two campaigns that deter a large section of their audiences from buying
Maybe it’s time you ventured out of Soho and took a breath of
invigorating country air. Though if you bump into me in some leafy lane,
don’t expect me to doff my cap to you. Instead, I’ll taunt you with a wad
of fivers, the money I’m saving by not spending it with your clients.
Send your rants (around 400 words, please) to Diary Editor, Campaign, 174
Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP.